CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Alex Murdaugh co-conspirator Cory Fleming is expected to plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges on Thursday afternoon.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina said that Fleming, 54, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea to information alleging that he conspired with Alex Murdugh to defraud the estate of the family’s former housekeeper and to obtain money and property from the estate by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses.
“In February 2018, Murdaugh’s housekeeper passed away after a fall at Murdaugh’s home. Murdaugh recommended that the housekeeper’s estate hire Fleming—then a personal injury and criminal defense attorney in Beaufort—to represent them and file a claim against Murdaugh to collect from his homeowner’s insurance policies. Murdaugh’s insurance companies settled the estate’s claim for $505,000 and $3,800,000,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Murdaugh and Fleming are accused of conspiring to siphon settlement funds, disguised as “prosecution expenses,” for their own personal enrichment.
“The information further alleges that Fleming directed the drafting of checks from the settlement funds held in his trust account to his personal bank account, fraudulently claiming that the funds were to pay for “expenses” related to the estate’s claim against Murdaugh,” officials said.
Information alleges Fleming knew the funds belonged to the estate, and the payments were not for legitimate legal expenses.
A hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon before Judge Richard M. Gergel.
Fleming faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.